MANILA - Besides social media influencers, the Philippines’ main tax collection agency said people who earn money from playing online games also need to register and pay taxes.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue said on Tuesday that income from playing online games like Axie Infinity can be taxed.
“Maraming nagsasabi: Naku BIR, bakit mo kami bubuwisan e naglalaro lang kami. Unfortunately, yung serbisyo ng pagalalaro, diyan ho kayo binabayaran ng income, kumikita kayo,” said BIR Deputy Commissioner Marissa Cabreros.
(Many are saying: Why is the BIR taxing us when we’re just playing? Unfortunately, while you play, you get paid income, you earn.)
Axie Infinity is an online game from Vietnamese company Sky Mavis which lets players earn cryptocurrencies in the game, which can then be exchanged for pesos.
The game’s popularity reportedly exploded in recent months, with thousands of players in the Philippines attracted to its play-to-earn model.
“At the end of the day may flow of income na pumasok sa ating players, so income din po ‘yan na pu-pwede pong maging taxable,” said Cabreros during Tuesday’s Laging Handa briefing.
(At the end of the day, there’s a flow of income to our players, so that is still income that can be taxable.)
The BIR earlier issued a memorandum circular ordering social media influencers to register and pay taxes.
It said that "certain social media influencers have not been paying their income taxes, despite earning huge income from the different social media platforms."
An industry group representing social media influencers has sought a dialogue with authorities to ease the burden of tax compliance.